Taylor Swift appears to be modifying folk album Merch after folklore calls her
The Folklore, an independent retailer of African branded clothing and accessories, noticed an eerily similar branding on Swift’s merchandise, which has since been altered.
UPDATE, July 30, 2:00 p.m.: Taylor Swift responded publicly to Amira Rasool in a Twitter thread following the post of In the styleInterview with the CEO of The Folklore. “Amira, I admire the work you do and I’m happy to make a contribution to your business and support the Black in Fashion Council (launch 8/3) with a donation,” Swift wrote.
UPDATE, July 28, 10:55 a.m .: Amira Rasool made the following statement to In the style following changes made by the Taylor Swift team: “My attorney Eric Ball from Fenwick & West has been in contact with Taylor manager Jay Schaudies since noon yesterday after receiving our letter expressing concerns about the merchandise on the site Taylor’s Web. Taylor’s team took swift action to get the “the” removed from all merchandise. I commend their team for acknowledging the damage they have done to our brand. I acknowledge that Taylor has been a strong advocate for women protecting their creative rights, so it was good to see her team on the same page. It was a great first step and we are currently in conversation with Taylor’s team about the next steps for remedy this situation.
Original story below.
When Amira Rasool got out of bed on Friday morning, she wasn’t expecting to fight Taylor Swift.
Soon Rasool, founder and CEO of online fashion retailer The Folklore, was overwhelmed by online buzz about the award-winning singer-songwriter’s surprise quarantine album, folklore, which she had let down at midnight to the panting anticipation and fanfare. Rasool didn’t think much of the name of the record. A lot of things have been called “folklore,” she told herself. She certainly didn’t have a monopoly on the term, which refers to traditional stories, customs, and beliefs, usually passed down by word of mouth, from generation to generation. Even an email, sent to Rasool via The Folklore website, inquiring about a faulty digital download of Swift’s album, didn’t give Rasool much of a break. It was a little strange, but she shrugged.
Then a friend pointed Rasool at the folklore merchandise. There, on the front of a sweater or on the sleeve of a hoodie, was a logo that she recognized. The fonts were different. Folklore uses a personalized Roman font; folklore a script in italics that evokes the soporific and indie-folk atmosphere of the record. But the word “the” on products bearing the inscription “The folklore The album, ”flipped to the side and affixed perpendicular to the rest of the phrase, was the same design element Rasool had used since 2018, when she launched The Folklore to amplify creators in the African and sub-African diaspora. represented.
Now Rasool was taken aback. She had planned an internal line that would put the logo “The Folklore” in the foreground. Would people accuse him of copying Taylor Swift?
“At first I was very shocked,” says Rasool, 24, from New Jersey who now divides his time between Cape Town and New York. “I had heard of so many different black women in particular who had been ripped off by big companies by celebrities. And I just couldn’t believe this was happening to me.
Search for “The Folklore,” she says, and her site immediately appears in the results. It’s also an immediate hit on Google Images. “It’s just very hard to believe that [Swift’s team] I haven’t met him, ”says Rasool. “And if they met him – which I believe they did – for them to model Taylor’s merchandise on our logo, especially after seeing what our company is, it’s especially disheartening for me.” .
A representative for Swift did not immediately respond to In the stylerequest for comment from. As of Tuesday morning, however, the offending merchandise appears to have been removed from Swift’s site. Apparel now reads: folklore Album.
Folklore brings together the talents of over 30 brands, artists and creatives, offering clothes, accessories, shoes and bags that the platform calls the “diversity of contemporary African cityscapes and design aesthetics. “. Beyond the online store, The Folklore also offers wholesale services to African brands looking to mobilize the global market. “It’s not just the folklore and my feelings that are personally hurt, but it hurts our brand,” says Rasool. “I’ve had people ask me, ‘Oh, did you collaborate with Taylor on this?’ They just assumed it was a collaboration due to the similarity of the logos. It may also be illegal – Rasool owns the active brand of “The Folklore” on clothing.
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She doesn’t blame Swift specifically. “Obviously, Taylor didn’t find The Folklore and didn’t make this sketch,” she says. “But at the end of the day, it’s Taylor who benefits. Here is his team. So it’s up to her to do things right.
Rasool, who is represented by Eric Ball of Fenwick & West law firm, leaves it to the legal teams to compete; she has no details to offer as she is not aware of the conversation. But she hopes Swift will be sensitive to her situation. The hitmaker gave her unequivocal support behind Black Lives Matter’s calculation, tweeting in June that “for policies to change we must elect people who will fight police brutality and racism of all kinds” and posting a link to a media article by former President Barack Obama on the fight against systemic darkness.
Racial injustice runs deep in local and state government, and changes MUST be made to it. For policies to change, we need to elect people who will fight police brutality and racism of all kinds. #BlackLivesMatter
– Taylor Swift (@ taylorswift13) June 9, 2020
Swift regularly registers trademarks for her own words and slogans, and she doesn’t hesitate to denounce her lawyers on violators. She’s an avowed feminist, who surely understands the social, political and economic headwinds that rise between women – not to mention black women, who must navigate both race and gender – and success. “And so I think she understands why this is important,” says Rasool. “I just hope that [she] and his team will recognize that what they have done has been bad for me and the brands I represent and that we can come up with a great solution to make sure everyone involved gets their credit.
And what does Rasool, who says he liked Swift songs in the past, think of the more thoughtful and gassy turn of “Folklore”?
“I haven’t listened to the album yet,” she says.